Portugal’s main touristic airport is currently undergoing a development, slated for completion in 2017. Faro Airport’s pro-active strategy is in place to develop traffic whilst adjusting the infrastructure to meet the needs of both airlines and passengers. This project will help to deal with not only the growth in passenger numbers but will also create more operating areas within the only airport to serve the Algarve.
Faro Airport’s Development Plan began in 2015 and is due to be completed next year. The investment from VINCI Airports is worth almost 33 million Euros, to accommodate the passenger traffic increase as well as modernise the terminal.
The first phase of the project was completed last year with the renewal of road access to the terminal, car parks and new outdoor cover structures to support both arrivals and departures. Work then began on the second phase of the project: for the expansion of the terminal.
The goal of the project is to provide Faro with the ability to handle 30 flights and 3,000 passengers per hour. At present, the airport has the capacity to handle 24 flights and 2,400 passengers an hour. It would see terminal capacity increasing from six to eight million. In October the airport reached an important milestone when the seventh million passenger for the year was welcomed, making 2016 a record-breaking year for the airport in terms of passenger numbers.
Infrastructure changes at the airport are due to be complete in time for the busy summer period next year. Faro Airport is a seasonal airport with peaks of arrivals/departures during the months of July and August.
It is clear to see low-cost carriers have come to dominate at the Portuguese airport. Ryanair top the list with a share of 28 per cent, followed by easyJet with 17 per cent of the market. Ryanair clearly see great worth in Portugal: the Irish low-cost outfit not only operates a base at Faro Airport, but has bases at Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport, Porto Airport and João Paulo II Ponta Delgada Airport.
The most popular routes out of Faro are: Amsterdam which is offered by Transavia; Dublin – a route unsurprisingly served by both Aer Lingus and Ryanair; Manchester which can be reached by four different airlines – Jet2.com, Monarch, Ryanair and Thomas Cook; and London. All six airports in London are served from Faro. London Gatwick has the most airlines serving a link to Faro, with British Airways, easyJet, Monarch and Norwegian offering this routing.
There are plenty of new services coming to Faro in summer 2017 from several carriers. As early as March next year, passengers will have additional choice to a number of European destinations. Ryanair will significantly expand its offering next summer with links to Marseille, Cardiff, Newquay, Frankfurt, Warsaw-Modlin, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Hamburg and Aberdeen.
Jet2.com will offer a daily service to Faro from Birmingham and London-Stansted from March 2017. In September, London-Stansted became the carrier’s ninth UK base and their first in the south of England. Germania’s presence in Faro will be expanded with services from Dresden, Erfurt/Weimar, Nuremberg and Münster/Osnabrück next summer. From April 10, Wizz Air will connect Budapest and Faro on a weekly basis.
Director of Faro Airport, Alberto Mota Borges has spoken out about the challenges balancing on and off-season demands. The airport air service development team is working on boosting traffic between November and February.
This year’s summer schedule from Faro Airport was its largest ever with a massive 21.6 per cent increase in departure capacity versus summer 2015 and published schedules for next year already show an optimistic summer season for 2017. Data from OAG Schedules Analyser shows the biggest markets by capacity for summer 2017 will be the United Kingdom (51.2 per cent share), Germany (13.7 per cent), Republic of Ireland (9.7 per cent) the Netherlands (6.5 per cent) and France (6.2 per cent).